It’s 3 p.m. and your stomach is growling. Dinner is hours away. Once considered a nutrition no-no, healthy snacking can be an important way to get much-needed calcium, fiber and antioxidants. By curbing your hunger pangs with a few pretzels or a smoothie, you’re less likely to binge at the vending machine or overeat at your next meal. But choose snacks wisely. Consider what you crave and select a healthy choice designed to satisfy from the table below.
|If you’re looking for something:||Try|
|Refreshing||Ice-cold low-fat or skim milk; vegetable juice; mineral water with a slice of lemon, lime or orange; frozen grapes or bananas; or frozen fruit pops. Make a fruit slush—in a blender, puree fresh fruit, a splash of juice and ice cubes.|
|Creamy||Low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, a banana, papaya fruit, a mango or low-fat pudding. Whip up a fruit smoothie—blend one cup of skim milk with several ice cubes, fresh fruit and a dash of vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg.|
|Crunchy||Raw, cut-up vegetables like asparagus, green beans, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini or carrots; apples; unbuttered popcorn (sprinkle with garlic powder or other spices); almonds; walnuts; sesame seeds; rice cakes; baked tortillas with salsa; or whole-grain crackers, bread sticks or pretzels.|
|Juicy||Applesauce, berries, cantaloupe, grapes, an orange, grapefruit, a tangerine, a nectarine, a plum, watermelon, a pear, a cucumber or a ripened tomato.|
|Hearty||A hard-boiled egg, low-fat granola, a slice of turkey, whole-grain cereal with skim milk, a bran muffin, nuts and cheese. Spread peanut butter on apple or pear slices, whole-grain crackers or bread. Dip triangles of whole-grain pita into hummus. Mash half a banana into a spoonful of peanut butter and spread on a toasted whole-wheat mini bagel or half an English muffin.|
|Sweet||Low-fat fruit yogurt, applesauce, angel food cake, pudding, frozen fruit pops, whole-wheat fig bars, dried fruit, sorbet or low-fat sweetened popcorn.|